The venue is a different in each sport, but make it to the right one at the end of the season and it’s not just a good year, it’s a great one.
Prep hockey players aim for the “X,” the Xcel Energy Center, home of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.
In football, it’s the Metrodome.
And in basketball, it’s either Williams Arena or the Target Center.
It’s baseball, however, where Target Field is not only the destination of choice for Minnesota high school baseball players, but is home to perhaps the best diamond in Major League Baseball.
Six baseball teams play Monday at Target Field as the top teams in Minnesota’s three high school classes play for state titles.
Locally, it’s the Rocori Spartans who take on Mounds View at 4 p.m. for the Class 3A title. Rocori won the Class 2A title at Target Field in 2010.
The Spartans also won a state title in 1992 at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud.
Other games include Class A’s title game between unseeded BOLD (17-6) and No. 3 Osakis (20-2) at 10 a.m. and Class 2A’s final featuring No. 5 Kasson-Mantorville (24-6) and unseeded Perham (18-5) at 1 p.m.
Rocori (18-8) clearly has a tough challenge in fourth-seeded Mounds View (19-6).
The Mustangs feature one of the tournament’s top hitters in first baseman Sam Hentges, who has hit six home runs this season to go with a .368 batting average in the clean-up spot in the batting order.
Hentges also got the complete-game win in Friday’s 9-4 win over top-seeded Coon Rapids.
Mounds View’s ace is Max Knutson (5-1), who got the complete-game win when the Mustangs beat fifth-seeded Forest Lake 2-1 in Thursday’s quarterfinal.
Knutson, who bats third and hits .312, is a likely candidate to be on the mound Monday.
Other hitters to watch: lead-off hitter and center fielder Alex Ambercrombe is 5-for-8 in the state tournament with two runs, three RBI and a double.
Shortstop Mitch Fredrickson (.313) is the No. 2 hitter and catcher Lars Andreson (.339) bats fifth.
It should be a good game today at Target Field.